ITALERI'S 1/35TH DEMAG 7
WITH FLAK 38, Sd.Kfz. 10/5 KIT NO. 371

By Ray Mehlberger

 

History

The one ton half-track, Demag 7, was manufactured in the mid-thirties by the company of the same name. It was officially taken into service, by the German Army, in 1938 and produced until 1944.

At first, it was used to tow light artillery and rocket launcher pieces, and later...because of its reliability and solidness, was adapted to become a self-propelled vehicle with anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns mounted on it. The Pak 40, Flak 30, and Flak 38 were all mounted on it at different times. It was very mobile and had a cargo capacity of 1.5 tons. It was used in all the theaters of operations. Over 17,000 were manufactured. Its chassis served the basis for the well known Sd.Kfz. 250, with its long series of sub-versions.

The Sd.Kfz. 10/5 was equipped with a 2cm gun, the type 38, which was also used at times against ground targets. (This is subject of this new kit).

THE KIT:

 

 

 

All of the parts are molded in light tan plastic. Which seems to be a trademark for Italeri armor kits.

The first, large letter "A" tree, holds the chassis, floor, hood, grill, wheels, tires, dashboard, windshield frame, head lights, seats, steering wheel, etc. 68 parts here.

The second, large letter "C" tree, holds the drive sprockets, road wheels, idler wheels, link and length type track links, rear deck floor and sides, tow cables, rifles, cab armor, and ammo cans. 125 parts here.

A third, medium sized "A" tree, holds all of the parts for the Flak 38. 62 parts on this tree.

A small, clear plastic parts tree "B", holds the windshield panes. Two pieces here.A piece of dark nylon mesh is provided to do the fold down side walls of the rear deck.

Decals are for license plate numbers for WH (Wehrmacht) and WL (Luftwaffe) and have to be "BUILT UP"...number by number. I do not like this way of doing these markings at all!!! There is a marking on the decal sheet that is three vertical bars with a diagonal bar on top of them??? Is this kill marks for the Flak 38 gun shield??? I don't believe it is any kind of a division marking. By the way, there are no division or tactical marks on this decal.

The instruction sheet is a large, 10 page, gatefold affair. Page one of this instruction sheet gives the vehicle's history, in several languages, including English. Page 2, and the top of page 3 are the parts tree drawings and painting symbol guides. From the bottom of page 3, to the middle of page 8, are 12 steps to build the Demag 7. The bottom of page 8 starts the assembly steps for the Flak 38. A parts tree drawing is included at the beginning of these steps. Steps 13 and 14 are the Flak 38 assembly steps then. Steps 15 and 16 show the final fitting of the Flak 38 to the Demag 7 and the installation of the mesh to the fold-down sides.

The painting guide is very abbreviated and the weakest part of the instructions. It is one side view and shows nothing about the license plate numbers. So the modeler will have to wing-it there.

I detected no flash on any of the parts in this kit. However, Italeri really needs to put stuff in cello bags in their kits. The muzzle brake for the Flak 38 was busted off the parts tree and so small that it almost became lost...and this is a CRUCIAL part!! The windshield parts could have been easily scratched...rubbing around like that...too.

I did not like the decal format. Building decals, number by number, and trying to keep it straight and not mess up is a real pain. These license plate decals should have been already numbered and ready to go. Also, division and tactical markings would have been welcome too. Finally, the addition of a gun crew...to this kit and Italeri's earlier release of the SWS with the ack ack gun on it would have been very welcome. The vehicles look naked without these figures to go on them. Maybe DML will do an ack ack gun crew (are you listening there in Hong Kong??)

I found a picture of this vehicle, with its armored cab, in Squadron's old Armor #3, "German Halftracks in Action" book. On the top of page 18, in that book, it shows a vehicle of this type with more armor plates covering the grill and behind the headlights. This looks to be pretty straightforward work with some Evergreen sheet plastic later, and I will add it...now that I have this picture to back it up.

The ERTL/ESCI Kit

The kit brought memories to mind about a kit by Ertl/Esci, years ago, of a Demag 7...that also mounts a ack ack gun. I dug this kit out of my stash to see if it was one in the same vehicle. Ertl/Esci's kit # 8575 is a Demag 7 Sd.Kfz. 10/4, with a Pak 30, 2cm gun on it. The gun is totally different than the new Italeri one.

This old kit consists of three large, and two medium, light tan parts trees. There is one medium gray tree, rubber band type tracks in silver colored vinyl, and a piece of white nylon mesh to do the fold-down side walls. A small, light tan tree, of driver figure parts is also included. Finally, there is a clear tree of parts for the windshield and headlight lenses.

The decal sheet gives the license plate numbers (already ready to go) and tactical marks and division marks...there are enough alternates on this sheet to use on the newer Italeri kits that lack these marks. Wheeeeee!

The kit is very nice...given its age! (I think it came out in the early 70's...can anybody correct me on this?)

Conclusion

Well, each kit is different. Esci includes figures, a canvas roof for the Demag, better decals and a slightly different layout to the dashboard part. Italeri gives you no crew figures, poor decals, and (my pet peeve) no cello bags. They do provide armor plates for the cab and better link and length type tracks. Like I said...the two weapons are totally different...one being a Flak 30 and the other a Flak 38. Both kits are gems in their own ways and very desirable in any armor collection of German WWII types.

Esci's instructions are 8 1/2" x 11" pages, stapled into a 12 page book. Page one is the history of the vehicle in English and French only. (Strangely...no Italian). Page two is general assembly instructions. Page 3 through 11 is the kit's assembly instructions. There are no numbered steps. Page 12 is a painting and marking guide. Much better than the offering for this given in the Italeri new kit...but no mention is made of what outfits the division markings on the decal sheet are...groan...I will have to consult my books and hope to find them in there later.

I recommend either of these kits to armor buffs. However, Ertl/Esci (to my knowledge) is no longer in production of any armor kits and I heard that they will not ever be again. The molds may go to DML, as some of the older Esci 1/9th scale German WWII motorcycle kits already have...but who knows?

I got the new Italeri kit at the local shop, it is a brand new release for Italeri. Price on the new kit is around $25.00, or less, depending on where you shop.



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